When people leave a company, they need to be replaced. This isn’t news, in fact this is a practice that has to happen as a means of survival. The process by which a person is selected to fill a position speaks to how prepared a company is for the ongoing cycle of employee replacement. Since the need to replace employees will always exist, implementing a program that focuses on long-term outcomes makes the most sense.
Replacement Planning is something that most companies practice as a way to identify a “back-up” to fill a role when it becomes available. Past experiences and performance are taken into account, upholding the idea that by looking at a person’s past behaviors, you choose the best candidate to fill the vacant spot. Replacement planning is the bare minimum of what every company should be doing to prepare for employee turnover.
Long-term focused, Succession Planning works to prepare a group of current employees for the roles they’ll take over in the future. Unlike Replacement Planning, rather than simply choosing a person who at the time may be the best choice, Succession Planning goes the extra step by developing employees in a way that grooms them to be successful. This practice uses competency models to align sought-after work-related behaviors with a company’s specific mission and strategy, ensuring that whoever is chosen to fill a spot is going to be the best fit for that role specifically within that company.
Succession Planning is a beneficial practice for a number of reasons including increasing bench strength, increasing the chance of internal opportunities for current employees, and having a clear and focused vision for your company’s future.